Emma Hulett Smith

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Emma Hulett Smith; Hazen, Arkansas

Age: 66

"I was the first colored baby born here or very near here. There was

only three houses in this town (Hazen). I think they muster been log


"My folks belong to Dr. Hazen. He brought families from Tennessee. When

the war broke out he took em to Texas. Then he brought em back here.

When they was freed I heard my mother say they worked on for him and his

boys (Alex and Jim Hazen) and they paid them. He was good to them. They

had er plenty always. After the war they lived in good log houses and he

give em land and lumber for the church. Same church we got cept a storm

tore it down and this one built in place of it. He let em have a school.

Same place it stands now. My mother (Mandy Hulett) got a Union pension

till she died. She cooked at the first hotel in Hazen for John Lane. She

washed and ironed till she died. We girls helped and we wash and iron

all we can get now. None of us not on relief (Fannie nor Emma). I can't

wash no more. My hands and arms swell up with rheumatism. I still iron

all I can get.

"The present conditions seems awful unsettled; wages low, prices high

and work scarce at times. Men can get work in the hay two months and

bout two months work in the rice or pickin cotton, either one. Then the

work has played clean out till hay time next year.

"How do they live? Some of their wifes cooks for white people and

they eat all they make up soon as they get paid. Only way they live."

Emma Grisham Emma Hurley facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail